Mary Orr

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For the Canadian pair skater, see Mary Orr (figure skater).

Mary Caswell Orr (December 21, 1910 – September 22, 2006) was an American actress and short story author whose "The Wisdom of Eve", published in the May 1946 issue of Cosmopolitan, was the basis of the Academy Award-winning film All About Eve (1950).[1] In private life, the Brooklyn-born Orr used her married name, Mary Orr Denham.

In 1964, she and her husband, director-playwright Reginald Denham, adapted The Wisdom of Eve into a play (of the same name), which was produced off-Broadway in 1979. In 1970, a hit Broadway musical, Applause, was based on All About Eve and gave a credit to Mary Orr for the original story. The musical, which starred Lauren Bacall and Penny Fuller, was broadcast on CBS in 1973.[2]

In addition to Applause, Mary Orr and Reginald Denham had four plays that opened on Broadway. Their first, Wallflower ran for 192 performances in 1944.[1] Round Trip was presented in 1945, while Dark Hammock started its performances in 1946. The fourth, Be Your Age, made its Broadway appearances in 1953.[3] Alone or with her husband, Orr wrote five books and forty television scripts.

While Mary Orr did not receive screen credit for her contribution to All About Eve (she had sold the story to Twentieth Century Fox for $5000),[1] she did receive a Screen Actors Guild award for an original story.[4] A sequel to All About Eve, More About Eve, was published in Cosmopolitan in 1951.


  • Diamonds in the Sky (1957)
  • A Place to Meet (1961)
  • The Tejera Secrets (1974)
  • Rich Girl, Poor Girl (1975)
  • Lucky Star


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